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“Truly Majestic!”

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Galle Face Hotel Colombo
Ranked #4 of 51 Hotels in Colombo
Certificate of Excellence
Chennai
Level Contributor
45 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Truly Majestic!”
Reviewed 27 May 2012

We spent three nights at The Galle Face Hotel in Colombo recently and that turned out to be a truly memorable experience for all of us. We were travelling on holiday with our son and daughter, who are just graduating and the hotel agreed to accommodate all four of us in the Royal Dutch Suite, which was just fantastic. Situated in the Classic wing of the hotel with full sea view, a huge sitting area , two large twin beds and a dining table for four, wooden flooring and a bathroom larger than most hotel rooms in Europe, we knew that we were in for a good vacation!
Our rates included breakfast which was quite a massive spread at The Verandah, the reataurant overlooking the sea. Service was just impeccable and we really had nothing to complain about. During the third day of our stay the heavy rains of the previous night resulted in a bit of water seeping into the room but within minutes we were shifted to another suite in the more modern Regency wing of the hotel. However if you are looking for old world charm, make sure you book yourself into the Classic wing of the hotel. Wide open spaces, antique furniture everywhere, wooden starways all just take you into the grandeur of a bygone era. If you just want the ambience of modern hotels ask for a room in the Regency wing .
Located in the heart of Colombo overlooking the sea, with many interesting dining options within walking distance(don't missthe Geman Pub right opposite the hotel and Raje Bhojan, the authentic Srlankan restaurant within five minutes walk!) This would be a great place to stay for a leisurely Colombo holiday!

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank jeswant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Thailand
Level Contributor
52 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2012

Visiting Sri Lanka is to understand that the country has been in civil war for decades, and recovery will take time. The Galle Face Hotel is a piece of history, of past grandure, and an adventure. The charges are too high for the rooms, but it is an experience. It is not 5 star. While our room was tired, and needed renovation, it was huge, with fabulous views, and had the feeling of colonial days in Asia. If you choose to stay at Galle Face Hotel, stay for its history, not for upmarket modern rooms. We enjoyed our stay. We had a drink to watch the sunset, but in rainy season, there was not such a great sunset. We found most accommodation in Sri Lanka expensive for what it was, but for a country desperately trying to catch up to modern Asian tourism they charge what people will pay, and if they do not, there are no funds to modernise.

Room Tip: If you stay in the old section be prepared for old style unrenovated rooms. If you pay more, the new...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Bron51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2012

The Hotel certainly looks amazing, but stops there! The first room we had probably hadn't been renovated since it was built in 1864. The staff don't seem to particularly enjoy working there and for a 5 Star Hotel they seriously need to improve their customer service.

Our whole stay here was a debacle from start to finish (room changes, overcharging and claiming back promised compensation).

The Bar on the seafront is lovely at sunset.....but that is the only reason I would ever come here again.

Room Tip: Don't bother
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
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5 Thank StuMcF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2012

I was full of expectations but left disappointed. The good bits - 1864 restaurant was good as was the breakfast on the terrace. Room and concierge services were excellent but some of the important things like 3 reported cases of messages being left but not delivered, a restaurant booking left at Reception but not made with the Restaurant made a poor impression. Overall, the Hotel needs a face lift - which I believe is planned. Some may enjoy the heat of the open terrace. I would have preferred it enclosed (in glass) and air conditioned. Didn't get to try the pool or spa but both looked good.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the new (Regency) wing with a view of the ocean.
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank RodneyJ160
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2012

My sister and her husband brought my daughters and me to Galle Face Hotel to soak in the ambience and watch the sunset at the Checker Board on my first trip to Colombo in 2011.

I returned with my husband and 14 other friends for cocktails in 2012.

We were enthralled by the magical sunset and the magnificent waves.

Romantic hardly describes it. For more photos and details on Galle Face Hotel and Colombo please check out http://sunlifeshinefree.blogspot.com/


It is a very classy hotel which has preserved its historic past well.
It is a definite must do in Colombo!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank sun_life_shine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jersey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2012

The terrace by the sea is the only reason I would stay at this hotel. The location is superb but the service is pretty poor considering it prides itself on 'old-fashioned' service. We waited ages every night for our drinks order to be taken. One night I asked the reception staff about booking a table at one of the restaurants in the hotel. I was told that, as a resident, there was no need to book. We went back the next night to be told by the restaurant staff that they were full and would not have a table for us. The hotel did not seem to be geared up for the busy period during which I was there (England's cricket tour of Sri Lanka) which was a shame.

The pool is lovely - don't go in the sea, it's not safe. The spa is also amazing - the best pedicure I've ever had I think! Breakfast is great with a good selection and one of the staff standing on the grass with a catapault to scare off the birds that try and steal your food.

My room was in the old part of the hotel and could have done with a refurbishment. Having said that, the views were great and the staff who cleaned my room were lovely. On checking out, I had to ask reception staff to add on extra items to my bar bill which they had omitted. Again, they didn't really seem to have a clue which was a shame because they were very friendly and polite.

I think next time I will stay somewhere else and just use the terrace for pre-dinner drinks.

Room Tip: Stay in the new part if you can. If you can't, try and get a room with a view to the sea.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Nikki H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
57 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 May 2012

I highly recommend taking a Royal Suite - they are a bargain, albeit our one wasn't quite as 'Royal' as I was expecting. Still, about 700 square feet I would guess.

I was expecting an enormous, dusty suite oozing character, but what I got was a fairly large suite which had been refurbished. To be honest the refurbishment was poor with cracks and holes in the ceilings and a general lack of character.

However, for the price this is a good value suite and a very relaxing place to hang out. We walked past a standard room which looked tiny, so we were very glad of the suite.

We had dinner at the 1864 restaurant which was a pleasant environment but rather variable food.

The problem I had with the hotel was that the breakfast was very poor; an unappealing selection made worse by very slow service on the coffee etc. A nasty buffet experience, apparently with no a la carte selections at all (i.e. no avoiding queueing at the trough).

Despite the criticism of the breakfast, I would not have wanted to stay elsewhere - the main areas of the hotel are stunning and as a whole the hotel is an impressive place to be in. Also a nice touch was the 'VIP' lounge with free drinks at happy hour (not sure whether this was because we had a Royal Suite or just because we had booked with the hotel's website).

Fix the breakfast, do a bit of a better job on the suite refurbs and this would be an incredible hotel.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank microcuts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Galle Face Hotel Colombo

Property: Galle Face Hotel Colombo
Address: No. 2, Galle Road, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Region: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Colombo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 51 Hotels in Colombo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Galle Face Hotel Colombo 5*
Number of rooms: 158
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Presented proudly as Sri Lanka's iconic and historic hotel, Galle Face Hotel is located in heart of Colombo City, along the seafront and facing the famous Galle Face Green.The hotel has 158 well-appointed rooms and suites, with some offering excellent views across the Indian ocean and the fascinating view of evening sunset.There are three restaurants, a gym, spa and unique saltwater swimming pool, overlooking the seafront. Guests here will be convenient as the hotel offers close access to many of the business district,historic cultural sites and landmarks in Colombo, as well nearby shopping. The hotel is a 45-60min journey from the airport.Guests seeking a glimpse of Colombo's history will enjoy the charm of The Galle Face Hotel with its unique, unaltered setting since 1864. ... more   less 
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